Hampton U. crowns a new “Mr. Pirate”

Tyler Barnes | Contributing Writer

Courtesy of Stephanie Smith

Hampton University has crowned Christopher Bates as the new Mr. Pirate for the 2017-
2018 school year.

Last Friday, Robert C. Ogden Hall transformed into a night of festivity with Mardi Gras
colors and decorations for the Mr. Pirate pageant.

Proud family members, friends and faculty gathered to cheer on contestants as they
competed for the title.

The audience harmonized along to the tunes played by Dj D Will in anticipation for the
pageant to begin.

The contestants confidently graced Ogden's stage as the crowd roared with excitement.

Contestants Andrew Justice, Barry Palmore, Anderson Douglas, Bates and Bakari Clemmons wore black suits, with vests varying in colors from blue to gold, and a masquerade mask.

After a brief, collective dance performance, contestants had the opportunity to formally
introduce themselves, including a quote that they live by.

Agreeance was heard throughout the audience when powerful quotes such as “The best
way to get lost is in the service of others” from Clemmons, and “Walk by faith not by sight” from Bates.

The gentlemen flaunted their gym results in individual performances during the swimsuit portion of the pageant. Many included creative props such as umbrellas, caution signs and surfboards.

The audience was amazed by the different talent skills contestants showcased. Palmore  DJ’d a diverse set of tunes for the audience to sing along to. Douglas played the
drums to a medley of today’s hits. Bates showed off his skills in multiple ways by singing,
dancing and performing a short skit to bring it all together.

“I didn’t know that they all did so much,” said Destany Manns, a sophomore journalism
major from Charlotte, N.C. “It’s cool to see the talents that they never show.”

Each was scored on the clarity and delivery of their talent.

The last category was the question-and- answer section. Each contestant received two
questions they had to answer quickly and clearly.

Questions included: What was one thing they would save if their house was burning
down? Who do they go to for guidance? And where is one place they would rather be than at the pageant?

Though contestants all competed to the best of their abilities, only one could be crowned
Mr. Pirate. Bates, a senior sociology major from the Bronx, N.Y., reigned supreme.
Bates was followed by first runner-up Barry Palmore Jr.

“It feels amazing, overwhelming,” Bates said. “I’ve worked so hard, and I have waited
for this moment since I got [to Hampton], and now I did it.”

Bates received a free suit rental from Men’s Warehouse along with a $50 gift card. He will now assist the next Miss Hampton University with her platform and represent
Hampton University in the Hampton Roads community and across the nation.

Now that Bates is the university’s new Mr. Pirate, who will be his Miss? The Miss Hampton University Scholarship Pageant will be held at 7 tonight in Ogden